Gardenstead gardening consultant Sean Smith is the owner and head brewer at Crooked Farmz, an urban micro-farm in Toronto. A thriving local CSA (community supported agriculture), the farm produces high quality, actively-aerobic compost teas.
Crooked Farmz also grows a wide assortment of vegetables and fruits in a 500 sq. ft. backyard — a true micro-farm! — which feed family, friends and neighbours throughout the growing season.
Sean can provide expert advice about soil, soil health, compost and compost tea, and backyard farming/urban agriculture. He’s won several innovation awards for his concepts and schematics related to urban composting and compost tea.
Crooked Farmz is a member of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and Sean uses regenerative and sustainable practices to help his plants thrive and to nourish the soil.
What is compost tea?
Compost tea is a non-chemical, natural liquid fertilizer. It’s made through a process of steeping compost in water for a period of time (a few days to a week). Crooked Farmz creates its actively-aerobic compost tea via a brewing cycle that takes between 36-48 hours.
A nutrient-rich liquid, compost tea not only fertilizes plants, it also improves soil health. The nutrients in compost tea are readily available for plant uptake, and its microorganisms help to create healthy soil ecosystems.
Compost tea is an essential element of healthy soil and plant growth. It’s natural, sustainable and ecologically beneficial and can help to reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Why is healthy soil important?
Healthy soil provides the nutrients plants need to grow and creates a habitat for diverse animals and microbes. The macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are vital for plant growth and development, but there are many important micronutrients that are required for plant nourishment.
Soil that is healthy and replete with minerals, water, air, nutrients and microorganisms supports plant growth, the environment and the food web.
What is urban agriculture?
Urban agriculture is the practice of growing food and crops in an urban environment. An urban farm can be as large as an operation like Toronto’s Fresh City Farms, or as relatively small as Sean’s 500 sq. ft. backyard farm — to any size in between.
Urban agriculture offers city dwellers the opportunity to become locally food self-sufficient, and provides access to truly fresh local food. For the backyard farmer, urban farming provides a way to connect with nature. It also fosters an awareness of the rhythm of the seasons. And there’s nothing like eating a tomato picked from your very own “vegetable farm” — no matter what size that farm is.
Book a consultation with Sean
If you have a question about soil, soil health, compost and/or compost tea, or urban agriculture (including your backyard or balcony garden), book a consultation with Sean. He can give you comprehensive guidance and experience-supported advice to help you make the most of your gardening season.